"The first person through the wall in this industry can make billions. They can also lose everything, and you don't know who you are yet."
Dale Sky Jones made that declaration while sitting inside Oaksterdam University, a 7-year-old facility in Oakland that educates would-be marijuana entrepreneurs.
Sky Jones is executive chancellor at Oaksterdam, and on the day she was interviewed, an instructor had just finished teaching a class about the best pest-control methods for growing cannabis. Presumably, the students were there to learn how to grow medical pot as a patient, a caregiver, or as part of a cooperative dispensary—the only legal methods allowed in California.
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But as recreational marijuana has become legal in Colorado and Washington, and as other states consider decriminalizing possession, there is a Wild West rush to be first "through the wall in this industry." A variety of companies are sprouting, many of them public—mostly high-risk penny stocks—with no clear winners yet.
Some recent stories suggest at least a few pot stocks are in bubble territory.
One company trying to figure out the right long-term strategy is mCig. The firm sells an e-cigarette-style product for marijuana, while at the same time is expanding into products that don't involve pot at all.